Watch a PBS affiliate’s condescending trailers for fake reality shows

After creating ads for fake reality shows earlier this year, PBS affiliate WNET/Thirteen is now making trailers for fake reality shows to call attention to bad reality television. They are kind of amusing, but the campaign is maddening.

Like the fake posters for shows such as “Bayou Eskimos,” “The Dillionaire,” “Knitting Wars,” and “Married to a Mime,” these trailers infuriate me, because WNET would rather condescend than produce quality reality TV itself, like it used to.

Watch all three commercials for “Clam Kings,” “Meet the Tanners,” and “Long Island Landscapers.” They were produced by an ad agency, CHI & Partners, but still: Imagine what Thirteen could do if it used its time, money, and creative energy to contribute to reality television rather than act superior to to the genre it gave birth to with An American Family.

Why not An American Family 2013 or The Real Downton Abbey? Though that would require more effort than just producing a poster and trailer.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.